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Let's Talk About Taking Care of You

NCJ Number
Lori Stauffer Ph.D.; Esther Deblinger Ph.D.
Date Published
93 pages
This document offers guidelines to reduce a child’s risk of being sexually abused.
Sexual abuse in childhood can be traumatic for children and their families. There is considerable evidence that when children tell about sexual abuse, receive support from their families, and get the appropriate help, the chances of having significant and ongoing problems are greatly reduced. This document is intended to help children develop the confidence and skills to respond effectively to potentially abusive situations and be able to tell about the experience as soon as possible. It is geared for children aged 5 to 10 and presented in a gradual fashion so the information can be absorbed slowly. Chapter 1 encourages children to talk about themselves in positive ways and share special experiences. Chapters 2 and 3 help children enhance their emotional vocabulary and emotional expression skills. Chapters 4 through 6 are designed to help children know and feel comfortable saying the real names for private parts; help children begin to identify okay and not okay touches; and help children talk about not okay touching between children. Chapter 7 defines physical and sexual abuse. Chapter 8 provides more specific information to help children understand more about sexual abuse, enhancing their ability to identify and talk about potentially abusive situations. Chapter 9 provides more specific information about abuse, including the difference between certain kinds of secrets, and the kind of people that hurt children. Chapters 10 through 12 provide children with basic information about body safety skills, and opportunities to practice these skills.